After Texas school shooting, Lemont security expert says access could have been partly to blame

At least 19 children, 2 teachers died in Uvalde, Texas shooting

Diane Pathieu Image
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
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After a Texas school shooting, a Lemont security expert says access could have been partly to blame.

LEMONT, Ill. (WLS) -- With security measures already in place, what went wrong? A security expert in Lemont who consults for hundreds of schools weighed in on the Texas school shooting that left at least 19 children and two teachers dead Tuesday.

"It appears as though there was failure of access control," said Paul Timm, vice president of Facility Engineering Associates.

Lockdown protocols in schools have become the norm.

Even the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District had robust security measures in place.

Timm advises schools on their security measures and said it could have been an issue of access.

"We should come up to a building and find every door locked, we should be required to come in a single point of entry and we should find ourselves in a secure vestibule without being granted access to the building until we've been authorized," Timm said.

RELATED: At least 19 children, 2 teachers killed in Texas elementary school shooting

Although more details are still coming in, the Uvalde School District does have its own police force with four officers.

Providing a secure environment is key to implementing safety measures, Timm said.

"We recommend all schools should be teaching classes with all classes with the classroom door closed and locked; schools don't like to do that because of operations. Kids have to (use) the restroom, and they come back and it's interrupting us, but it's a safer way to teach," he said.

This fall, hundreds of schools in Illinois will participate in the Illinois School Safety Conference and learn proven strategies to ensure safety.

Anyone in Illinois can reach out to the "Safe 2 Help" program, offering students a safe, confidential way to share information that might help prevent violence in schools or to others 24/7.